Cong divided over Nagmani

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By FARHANA KALAM
  • Published 21.09.10
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Gaya, Sept. 20: Nagmani’s entry into the Congress fold has triggered a debate within the party.

A senior Congress leader, who has served the party for over three decades and never sought a party ticket, said: “With friends like Nagmani, Congress needs no enemies. By jumping from one party to another, Nagmani has eroded his credibility.”

This is the ninth political somersault by Nagmani who has been a part of every non-Left party in the state, including RJD, JD(U), LJP and BJP.

Sources said Nagmani has sought tickets from the Kurtha seat in Arwal district for himself and Gurua seat in Gaya for his wife Suchitra Sinha.

A former minister, Suchitra is the sitting MLA from Kurtha. She has won the seat twice, first in February 2005 on an LJP ticket, and then in October same year as a JD(U) candidate.

Justifying the inclusion of Nagmani in the Congress, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Prem Chand Mishra said: “A resurgent Congress in Bihar is trying to expand its social base and the party needs a leader like Nagmani to reach out to the section to which he belongs.”

According to Ali Hussain, a political analyst: “It would be interesting to see how the Congress expands its social base by including Nagmani, a Koeri, into its fold. Bihar’s intermediary castes like Yadavas, Koeris and Kurmis have traditionally been anti-Congress. By accommodating Nagmani, Congress may have unwittingly angered its traditional supporters.”

Ali Hussain feels that Nagmani’s political ambition is in contrast with the interests of old Congress leaders like former Gurua MLA Khan Ali.

Their supporters have not appreciated Nagmani’s entry into the Congress, but the RJD is relieved. “Good riddance,” said senior RJD leader and former minister Shakeel Ahmad Khan, while replying to a question on Nagmani.

Apart from Nagmani, former BJP leader Laxmi Narain Singh, alias Tun Tun Singh, is also a contender for the Congress ticket. Former Aurangabad MP Nikhil Kumar reportedly favoured fielding Lakshmi Narain from Gurua.